Living with Hoboes

blogIMG_6098

blogIMG_6091

I admired this cased ambrotype, along with a smaller, cased tintype (shown at the end of this post), for at least a year, as they sat listed on etsy.  The seller mistakenly  identified the sitter as William Wallace.  He overlooked the next word, which I came to discover was the surname of Hungerford.

William Wallace Hungerford was aged 16 when the above image was captured on January 1, 1861, in Lansing, Michigan.  He was the son of a farmer, Lyman Hungerford, and grew to follow in his father’s footsteps.  Although I’m sure William’s life wasn’t uneventful, it doesn’t appear to have garnered much attention in the newspapers.  That is, until he ran off to live with hoboes.

Continue reading

R.J. Terry’s Snap Shot

blogTERRY R J

Born in 1860, in Alabama, Reavis Johnston “R.J.” Terry was named after his father’s mentors.  As a young teen, R.J.’s father, John Taliaferro Terry, lost his father and was taken in by his sister’s husband, Colonel Robert Johnston.  John became a lawyer, like Johnston, and went into a law partnership with the Honorable Turner Reavis.

1925 Mar 7 TERRY RJ Obit The Birmingham News Alabama
Birmingham News (Alabama) – Mar. 7, 1925

blogTERRY R J back
Interesting to note, from a research standpoint, I would not have been able to identify this sitter if the person had not penned “Birmingham, Ala.” after the name.  I would have been looking in the location of the photographer, E.J. Dunshee, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Although R.J. may have lived in Philadelphia at some time during his life, I did not find a record of it.

Sources:
Census records
History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume 4, published 1921
Birmingham, Alabama City Directory

Blushing Brothers

blog HARRIS George and James
Click image for a larger view

The blushing brothers are George and James Harris.  Who’s who is uncertain.  They were very close in age, born just two years apart; James on January 10, 1872 and George on March 10, 1874.  On George’s WWI draft card, he’s said to have black hair and brown eyes.  I wasn’t able to locate a card for James.

blog HARRIS Nora Bell0001

Found along with this image was a cabinet card photo of the boys’ younger sister, Nora Belle, born in 1877.  At age 18, she married William Mathison and they had 10 children.

The siblings were born and raised in Cheatham County, Tennessee.  As adults, they lived in Nashville.

Sources:
Census records
Tennessee death records
WWI draft registration

Would the real John Pease, please stand up.

blog paper frame

Recently, I happened upon a tintype of a gentleman posed next to a small, decorative table.  Written on the front of the paper sleeve frame is “Mr. John Pease.”  I immediately recognized the table as one in a photo already in my collection.

In an earlier post, I featured a carte de visite of Sophia Germann.  The photographer, J. F. Rank of Van Wert, Ohio, seated Sophia next to the same unique, stag head table!

table GERMANN Sophia

In the larger scan below, you can better see that the table detail matches the one in the carte de visite of Sophia.  Look at the chain that dangles from the table top, and the etched lines on the legs.

blog PEASE John

The tintype of Mr. John Pease does not provide the photographer’s identity or location, but, could the table provide the missing link? Continue reading

David Aker’s Snap Shot

blogAKER David

I picked up this tintype, housed in a paper frame, in Markle, Indiana.  Writing on the back reads “Whitley Co. Ind.”

I find it difficult to date this tintype based on the young man’s fashion.  If I had to make a guess, I would say late 1860s to mid 1870s, based on the felt hat and piped edge suit lapels.  I welcome anyone with more knowledge about Victorian men’s fashion to provide input.

I found two men named David Aker living in Whitley County, Indiana.  One, born in 1812, was a farmer in Whitley County.  He would have been in his fifties when the photo was captured, making him too old to be the sitter.  Another, born in 1874, would have been too young to be the sitter.

One thing to note is that the latter David Aker was also found in records as Frank David Aker.  This raises a good question.  Could David have been the sitter’s middle name, and/or a name that he didn’t use consistently, especially on paperwork, like census records?  Frank David Aker’s father was George Aker, born about 1839.  If my dating of this tintype is correct, George would have been in his early twenties when this photo was taken, and would fit the sitter’s age.  However, I find no record of George’s middle name or of him using the name David.

This is another rescued photo that remains a mystery, for now.

Sources:
Census records
Death records

 

The Hustler

William F Hostetler

This dandy cabinet card was discovered in Goshen, Indiana.  The sitter screamed, “Take me home! I’m bold and interesting!”

William Francis Hostetler, born in La Paz, Indiana in 1870,  was a hustler, in a good way.  He was an enterprising person, determined to succeed, a real go-getter.

hustlermention
Business Educator, 1912

Which is why I was surprised to find that William’s death certificate listed his only occupation as a farmer.  I’m sure he would have been surprised as well, and disappointed, considering he spent the majority of his adult life as a teacher.  In addition, for quite a few years, while also teaching, he sold insurance for the New York Life Insurance Company, and he was self employed, offering penmanship services for individuals and businesses.

Continue reading

Until the serpent crossed her path

I picked up these old photos from a wonderful shop on etsy, The Wurdeman Studio.  If you love old things, especially photos and jewelry, take a moment to check it out.

blog HELTON James and HIBBS John

The back of this cabinet card photo reads, “J.W. Helton & J.W. Hibbs, Unionville, Mo, Age 27 & 30.”  James Helton and John Hibbs grew up together in Unionville.  The posing of the two men made me think of a best man helping a groom get ready for his big day. However, according to the ages, this photo would have been taken in 1895.  James, on the left, first married Cerula Caster in 1897 and then married newly turned 18 year old Emma Josephine Severs in 1899.

blog HELTON James and unknown Helton or Hibbs

I believe this second image was captured about 1890.  The man sitting is identified as James Helton, and appears to be in his early twenties.  The back identifies the man standing, only as “Helton.”  James had brothers who would have been 24 and 18 at the time.  However, I think the second man in this photo looks an awful lot like John W. Hibbs.

Trigger Warning: This post contains descriptions of domestic and sexual violence.

Continue reading